Information Warfare: The Taliban War on Children

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July 25, 2006: In what is a very blunt Information War operation, the Taliban this year have deprived some 200,000 Afghan children of school. One of the Taliban beliefs is that the only proper schools are those supervised by (Taliban approved) religious leaders. Since the millions of Afghan children who have returned to school, since the Taliban were overthrown in late 2001, are doing so at government schools, and without a religious curriculum, they are in violation of Taliban customs. The Taliban are particularly incensed at schools for girls. The Taliban are decidedly Old School when it comes to women, believing ignorance, pregnancy and housekeeping are all the women need. Anything else is un-Islamic, and not to be tolerated. So some 200 schools have been closed in southern Afghanistan, and at least 40 teachers and students killed in the process. The Taliban use terror to close the schools, or discourage parents from sending their kids, often accompanied by violence (burning down the school and/or threatening the teachers and villagers.) Where terror tactics did not shut down a school, threats against parents (and their children) often got the kids withdrawn from school. All this has not made the Taliban popular, but since the Taliban are on a mission from God, who cares?
The Afghans affected believe that the Taliban want people to stay ignorant, as that makes them easier to control. While many Afghans in the south agree with the Taliban, they are not the ones sending their kids to school.

 


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